Store Extra Energy In Liquid Air

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers has announced that liquid air can be used to store excess energy generated from renewable sources. For example, wind farms generate power at night, but since demand is low at that time, the energy may be wasted.

When demand increases the next day, the liquid air can be warmed to drive a turbine, thereby giving the energy back. Engineers say the process can achieve an efficiency of up to 70%.

The process follows a number of stages:
  1. "Wrong-time electricity" is used to take in air, remove the CO2 and water vapour (these would freeze otherwise)
  2. the remaining air, mostly nitrogen, is chilled to -190C (-310F) and turns to liquid (changing the state of the air from gas to liquid is what stores the energy)
  3. the liquid air is held in a giant vacuum flask until it is needed
  4. when demand for power rises, the liquid is warmed to ambient temperature. As it vaporizes, it drives a turbine to produce electricity - no combustion is involved.
Highview believes that, produced at scale, their kits could be up to 70% efficient, and IMechE agrees this figure is realistic.

This work derives from the work of Britainís Peter Dearman, who invented a liquid air engine to power vehicles as seen in the following video.

Science fiction fans of yesteryear would not find this idea hard to believe. The idea of storing energy in liquid air and then using it to power engines was used in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

(Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)

Via BBC. Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for the tip and the reference on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/2/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

3D Printed Spherical Flying Machine
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up....' - Larry Niven, 1972.

Nanotech Used To Create Custom Water Filters In Tanzania
'People started out squeamish about Clearsacs...'- Paolo Bacigalupi, 2015.

Google Project Soli - Control Devices With A Gesture
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched...'- Philip K. Dick, 1955.

NASA's Subvocal Speech System
'She took a subvocal input device from its rack...'- David Brin, 1990.



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.'

Computer Predicts Psychosis Better Than Psychiatrists
'The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile...'

Robot Evolution Needs Mass Extinction Events
'It was small, one of the baby ones.'

Lab-Grown Kidneys Implanted Successfully - In Animals
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'

Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend, cloned.

DARPA NeuroTech Hand With Natural Sensation
'Take care, sir.'

Nuke Mars To Terraform It, Says Elon Musk
'... Mars could not be made habitable without first being stocked with air and water...'

Texas-Sized Ice Slab Found On Mars
'That's okay, still ice in The Rock and a miner expects to sound for it...'

Invisible Drones Will (Not) Appear Over Your Town
'Light-waves are bent around it without loss or distortion.'

Transwheel Drone Robotic Delivery Vehicle
One good single-wheel delivery concept deserves another.

Cool Chaac Ha Dew Collector Video
'The surface condenses moisture out of the air...'

NASA Turns To Museum Space Shuttles For Parts
Tropes true to life.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.